From The Ivy Cafe to crêperies and cool new vegan hangouts, south east London boasts a number of exciting new restaurants and cafes that you simply have to check out…
Words: Hannah Lawrence, Bethan Andrews & Victoria Purcell
Lead image: Kudu, Peckham, by Claire Menary Photography
1 The Ivy Cafe, Blackheath
You’ve probably heard us wax lyrical about this place already, because we love it. Taking over from the beloved Chapters – an old favourite in Blackheath – The Ivy Cafe serves up everything from cream teas to cocktails, so do call in for a quick bite or linger over breakfast, brunch, lunch, afternoon tea or dinner. It’s a mix of modern British classics and European-inspired dishes, so you’ll find signature dishes like the shepherd’s pie, made with slow-braised lamb shoulder with beef and Wookey Hole Cheddar potato mash; brioche-crumbed chicken Milanese with fried egg and black truffle mayonnaise; and blackened cod fillet baked in a banana leaf with baby pak choi, toasted sesame and yuzu mayonnaise.
16-18 Montpelier Vale, Blackheath SE3 0TA; theivycafeblackheath.com
2 Kudu, Peckham
There are few restaurateurs who can boast about having eaten at the Ivy in a highchair, but for Amy Corbin, daughter of famed restaurant owner Chris Corbin, that’s just how it is. Corbin, whose father helped turn The Ivy into one of the West End’s most popular eateries, has launched Kudu with her partner, chef Patrick Williams. The Modern European menu has South African influences, featuring dishes like potjie, made using a traditional cauldron cooked over coals, several braais, a type of bbq, and the Kudu bread, cooked in a copper pot.
119 Queens Road, Peckham SE15 2EZ; kudu-restaurant.com
3 Blanch & Shock, Camberwell
Food designers Blanch & Shock have opened their first permanent site in Camberwell, a hub for people interested in food and cooking to meet, eat and learn through dinners, workshops, tastings and talks. In a former office in Artichoke Mews, Camberwell, the open kitchen and dining room will open its doors at the end of every month for a series of dinners served at communal tables. Tickets for the five-course set menu will cost £48pp. Upcoming dates: 30-31 March and 27-28 April.
4 Wildflower, Peckham
Wildflower is an informal vegetarian and vegan canteen at Peckham Levels. Alongside a morning cafe service, the innovative vegetarian and vegan cafe serves affordable, ethical and healthy brunch and lunch options, plus a more refined evening menu with impeccably presented plates inspired by Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and European cuisines. You can also enjoy a carefully curated programme of live music and DJs courtesy of Wildflower’s sister business, music venue Ghost Notes.
Peckham Levels, 95A Rye Lane SE15 4ST; wildflowerpeckham.uk
5 Walker Briggs, Crystal Palace
Walker Briggs recently expanded on its brunch offering to launch its dinner menu, which is full of delicious delights that sit somewhere between pub and restaurant style dishes. Do try the seriously tasty buttermilk fried rabbit sliders with jalapeno and bacon jam and coriander yoghurt; crispy pork belly with kohlrabi; and the bang bang cauliflower with peanut and chilli dressing.
23 Westow Hill, Crystal Palace SE19 1TQ; walkerbriggs.co.uk
6 SAMA Bankside
SAMA Bankside is the latest independent bar, restaurant, events and exhibit space plus late night venue on the weekends to open its doors at the Bankside cultural quarter located close to the Tate Modern, Southwark. With its urban and artistic feel, it wouldn’t be out of place in Berlin or Brooklyn. You can even use it as a workspace, plus they do a two-courses for £12 menu and brunch to eat in or takeaway.
3 Robinson Road, Southwark SE1 8BU; samabankside.co.uk
7 Madeleine’s, Blackheath
Blackheath seems to be experiencing a proliferation of openings at present. In addition to The Ivy Cafe and the promise of a new local opening from MasterChef’s Tony Rodd, there’s now Madeleine’s, a cute crêperie that serves up both sweet and savoury crepes, galettes and waffles. The Madeleine waffle is an unusual treat, with mushroom, onion jam, spinach, sour cream and chives. You can also opt for a breakfast galette with bacon, sausage and egg, a confit duck waffle (reminiscent of a certain swanky sky-high eatery in the City) with cucumber, spring onion and plum sauce, or keep it simple with the likes of a waffle covered in melting ice cream, nutella and fresh banana.
1-3 Tranquil Vale, Blackheath SE3 0BU; madeleinescreperie.com
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